Dog Pregnancy

Caring for a pregnant dog

Puppies are always a delight, but caring for a pregnant dog can be quite a challenge. Many dog owners do not know what steps to take when it comes to a canine pregnancy, and even spotting signs of dog pregnancy can be difficult at times.

Signs of Dog Pregnancy

It is important for all dog owners – not just those who plan to breed – to watch out for the signs of dog pregnancy. Not all canine pregnancies are planned, and accidents can happen. Knowing what to look for can help dog owners get a jump on the process and prepare their homes for those adorable puppies.

Some signs that may indicate an existing pregnancy include:

  • Decreased appetite

  • Decreased activity or lack of interest in favorite dog toys

  • Full nipples

  • Changes in dog behavior, such as an increased desire to be alone or a decrease in playfulness

  • Weight gain

How long will gestation last?

The typical gestation period of a dog is 63 days. In the case of a planned mating, the expected delivery date can be determined with a fair degree of accuracy, but if the mating was unplanned it can be a bit more complicated. A skilled veterinarian should be able to determine an approximate due date, which will help the dog owner prepare for the whelping by creating the proper home environment.

Special Care During Pregnancy

Pregnant dogs need different care than non-expecting dogs, so it's important to prepare for the puppies by caring for their mother. Be on the lookout for signs of complications or ill health. Once a pregnancy is suspected, the owner should make an appointment with their veterinarian. Not only can the vet determine that a pregnancy is underway, but they can provide the owner with valuable advice on how to care for the expectant mother dog.

The veterinarian can also determine how far along the pregnancy is, and that will prove important when it comes time to set up the whelping box to prepare for the arrival of the puppies. After the owner knows the stage of the pregnancy, he or she can prepare a dog pregnancy calendar that can help guide the rest of the process and provide insight into dog gestation and whelping procedures.

Preparing for Puppies

A whelping box is a must, as this will provide a safe and secure place for the new mother to deliver her puppies. In most cases the pregnant dog will begin to display nesting behavior one to two days prior to delivery, so sharp-eyed owners may be able to predict when the birth will take place.

Even though owners may wish to help out, it is generally a good idea to give the mother dog her space and let nature take its course. Owners may want to stay in the background and be on the lookout for signs of trouble, but setting up a well-padded whelping box (lined with soft cloth) is really the best thing dog owners can do to help their pets. The whelping box will also help protect furniture, carpet and bedding that would otherwise be used when delivery is imminent.

By Beconrad

6
Posted by solvera on July 22,2012 at 06:22 AM
My pitbull got pregnant on her first heat. She gave birth almost 3 weeks ago to 9 puppies. She was doing great but all of a sudden she is changing for the worst. She is skin and bones and always acts like she is starving. We do not starve her by any means. She is depressed. Yesterday she lightly bit 2 people. What is going on?
Posted by Pantheon Giants on December 22,2011 at 05:54 AM
PLEASE NOTE Bright red blood is not normal it could mean that your dog is hemoraging from a torn uterus or a puppy that is still in the mom. or other problem. The discharge after birth should be a greenish brown or dull red if bleeding continues you need to go to the vet some vets will take payments if it is a life threatening situation. I have been a Great Dane breeder for ten years and I have lost a dog to ruptured uterus. and had orphan pups. I also always take the sacks off the pups and I use dental floss to tie off the umbilical cords and then cut them. Nature is not always the best way. The goal is to have live pups and a healthy mother. Anyone feel free to email me at broken_crosst@yahoo.com if you need pregnancy or whelping advice.
Posted by kaitlyn on June 28,2011 at 02:17 AM
Dont worry about yur dogs bleeding. It IS very normal.
Posted by carmen on July 20,2010 at 11:12 AM
my chihuahua have her puppys the 4 of july and 3 days ago she start bleading that is normal
Posted by Nicki Haney on May 23,2010 at 10:21 PM
my shih tzu is almost 3 yrs old. she had her first litter and had 4 puppy 16 days ago. I have notice that the last few days that she is bleeding again. It is bright red and it happens periodologictly though out the day and heavy at times. It doesn't seem to be content or steady. Is this normal or do i need to be concerned! Please help!
Posted by wesley ross on December 22,2009 at 06:32 PM
My small dog had puppies. I let nature take it's course so the first one died cause it could not breathe inside the sack. I took the rest of the sacks off thier noses and mouths and cut the cord. She could not do it. She chewed and chewed. now she had them early this morn 3am and it is 6pm. There is still one alive in her. What can I do and i can not afford a vet but she has had shots
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